2018 – Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year begins on 16 February 2018, which is the 4715th Chinese New Year. With each year there is a related element and this year it is earth so it is also said to be the Yellow Male Earth Dog year.

According to Chinese horoscope theory, the Male Earth is represented by mountain and the sign of the Male Earth Dog is two mountains, representing a strong Earth. The focus will be on property, environment, territory, integrity whether spiritual or religious.

As 2018 is the Mountain Dog year, this may be a wild dog that could block your way. This implies that there may obstacles along the path, so in order to execute your plan you need to use your wisdom to overcome the difficulties and then you will see a wide-open road ahead.

The Dog is the 11th animal in 12 Chinese zodiac signs. Dog month is connected to the last month of autumn. Winter will come right after the Dog month. Winter is the season of Water. If you can climb on the mountain of the Dog, then you can see much further for the future. 2019 is year of Pig, which is the first year of Water. Therefore 2018 is a stepping stone and if you want to do well in 2019 the year of the Water Pig year, then need to well-planned in the 2018 of Dog year.

Ways these lucky foods and dishes are prepared, served and eaten have a significant meaning in welcoming in the new year too.
For example, fish, which symbolises an increase in prosperity, should be placed towards elders or special guests to represent respect and it can only be enjoyed only after the one who faces the head eats first.
Here are some top Chinese New Year lucky foods and their symbolism:
  • Noodles – happiness and longevity
  • Dumplings and spring rolls – wealth
  • Tangyuan (sweet rice balls) – family togetherness
  • Niangao (glutinous rice cake) – higher income or status
  • Tangerines and oranges – fullness and wealth
  • Fish – an increase in prosperity

Try this recipe for Traditional Chinese Dumplings

Chinese Dumplings

These dumplings are traditionally eaten at New Year as a symbol of wealth

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
  • 2 packets wonton/dumpling wrappers (you will often find these in the freezer at a local chinese supermarket)
Dumpling Filling
  • 250 g white cabbage
  • 250 g pork mince
  • Half bunch spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 2 cm piece of ginger finely grated
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
Dipping Sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chopped spring onions
  • ¼ tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  1. Finely chop the cabbage (you can also do this in a food processor), sprinkle lightly with salt and allow to rest for 10 mins before squeezing out the excess liquid.

    In a large bowl combine, pork mince, cabbage, spring onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix together until evenly coated.

    Hold the dumpling wrapper flat in one hand and place about 2 tsp of filling in the centre. Wet the edges of the wrapper with some water and fold in half to form a half moon shape. Pinch the edges together in pleats, being sure to seal fully.

    Repeat until all the filling is used

Pan Fry Dumplings
  1. In a non-stick fry pan add 2 tbs vegetable oil and add the dumplings and cook for 2 mins until golden. 

    Add 1 cup of water, cover and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer until wrappers become translucent and filling is cooked through (around 8-10 mins), uncover and allow the rest of the water to evaporate and bottoms of the dumplings become crisp.

Dipping Sauce:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, serve on the side.